local gifts that give back gift guide

9 Dec 2020

As we approach the festive season it's time to think about Christmas presents but as Christmas is notoriously a season of giving what better way to practice that than by purchasing some gifts from businesses that also give back! Obviously, with me being from Belfast I'm super familiar with some local social enterprise businesses and these are really the businesses that spawned this idea so I thought I'd stick local and share some of my absolute favourite businesses that also help you make a difference when you're purchasing gifts this Christmas season (or just whenever really).


I've spoken about Madlug on here before but they're my absolute faves. Founded in 2015 by a local youth pastor who noticed as he started his fostering journey that children from the care system typically carried all of their belongings in plastic bags or bin bags and hence the idea of Madlug was born. Madlug, which stands for Make A Difference Luggage operate on a buy one, give one principle where for every bag purchased. A bag is given to a child in care who doesn't have a bag of their own. I've used only Madlug backpacks for YEARS, I've also worked with them so some of my colossal collection of nine backpacks are gifted but I've also purchased a few for myself over the years. They're so sturdy and mine have travelled the world with me from Belfast, to Naples and Copenhagen, and even to Kampala and Kigali!


Another Belfast based company for you and another that operates on a wear one, share one principle. OutsideIn, or Oi for short, are a streetwear brand trying to rewrite homelessness. For every product purchased and the additional product is given to someone experiencing homelessness. This can either be done by OutsideIn themselves and their partner charities or you can opt to receive an additional giving product yourself allowing you to personally give the product to someone encouraging you to challenge your perception of homelessness. While this business started in Belfast it's achieved global success with projects working all across the globe. Their hats are honestly a staple of the Northern Irish wardrobe but they also have some cool sweaters and fleeces and things if that's more your scene.

Refuge Hot Chocolate

If you're after a chocolatey gift, look no further than Refuge Hot Chocolate. This artisan hot chocolate company have won Irish food awards so rest assured the quality is there but they also contribute profits to an anti-trafficking organisation as well as working with those rescued from trafficking situations in the manufacturing process. A truly perfect gift for the chocolate lover in your life. They also have a wide variety of vegan and dairy-free products too!

Lines And Current

Lines and Current jewellery should be a staple in the collection of anyone who loves minimalist jewellery. These pieces are truly the prettiest I have the Oda ring (pictured below) and it's probably my most worn jewellery item I love how understated it is but still adds to an outfit. Lines and Current also donate 10% of their profits to partner charities which since 2017 has been SOS villages which through the years have allowed 60 children in Zimbabwe to receive an education.
So those are just a few of my favourite local businesses that help you give back a little this festive season. Do you have any recommendations of other businesses with a giving ethos because I'd love to check some more out!

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